As announced last week through GVTC website, the public sharing of the results on the hydrological study conducted in the Greater Virunga Landscape by team researchers from DRC, Uganda and Rwanda was organized at Gorilla Lake Kivu Hotel in Rubavu on the 22nd October 2015.
This study was conducted by three research institutions, namely Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC) of Mbarara University in Uganda, Institute of Higher learning in Rwanda (INES) and Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma ( OVG) in DRC. GVTC sponsored that study through funds received from the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the implementation of the Strategic Plan which outlines the mission of this intergovernmental organization: sustainable conservation of the Greater Virunga Landscape Biodiversity for Long Term Socio-Economic Development through Strategic Transboundary Collaboration Management.
In this regard, two studies were conducted under the project “Environmental and livelihood security in the Greater Virunga Landscape enhanced through support to integrated water resource management, increased contribution of tourism to community development, mitigation of adverse oil and gas exploration impacts and transboundary collaboration”.
Participants invited for the public sharing of the research findings were stakeholders from the three countries: leaders of local and international organizations, public administration agents, and Protected Areas Authorities. A delegation of the Netherlands Embassy in Kigali led by Mr. Yan Vlaar, the 1st Secretary of the Netherlands Embassy in charge of Water Programs and Mr. Gaspard Ndagijimana, the Regional Adviser Land and Water, joined the meeting and participated to the debate.
The opening remarks were given by Mr. Telesphore Ngoga, Transboundary Conservation Analyst from RDB, who extended the warm greetings of Madame Belise Kariza, the new Chief Tourism Officer, and chairperson of the GVTC, who has not been able to come here herself due to other pressing assignment related to international collaboration.
The Executive Secretary of GVTC, Dr Georges Muamba Tshibasu, welcomed participants and expressed the GVTC gratitude to the Netherlands Government for the useful and helpful grunts it provided GVTC with to finance the studies in the Greater Virunga Landscape, to facilitate the water access for the local communities and improve their living conditions.
In his presentation, Mr. James Byamukama, the GVTC Programs Manager focused on the main objectives of the workshop consisting of presenting and sharing the study findings with various stakeholders for an adaptive management. He recalls also the main output of the workshop aimed at developing a way forward in the use and application of the study results.
The research team leaders presented the main findings of the studies by outlining the study areas, the methods used, the socioeconomic survey results, the soil erosion/flood risk areas (GIS models) results, water availability results and recommendations.
Most of the study findings mentioned the negative impacts of water scarcity as one of the causes of lack of access to education since children are requested to go fetching water. Moreover, children and women are the main labor providers to fetch water for the households and because of that they are mostly affected by water scarcity in their communities.
At the end of the workshop, participants expressed their satisfaction, and Mr. Yan Vlaar recalled that the Netherlands Government will continue its financial support to GVTC for the implementation of water projects in the Greater Virunga Landscape. The 1st Secretary of the Netherlands Embassy urged stakeholders not to keep the study findings in the drawers but to make profit of them so that the living conditions of the communities may be improved.
GVTC Communication Service